Our Story

In the early 1900s, Grand Rapids Bishop Henry Joseph Richter saw the need for a parish in the area north of Grand Rapids. On July 13, 1913, Father Casimir Skory met with a group of Catholic families from the Belmont area. At that meeting, it was decided by a majority vote to purchase the church structure of St. Adalbert’s Parish, dismantle it, move it from Grand Rapids to Belmont, and reassemble it. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish was born and formally dedicated on May 31, 1914.

Bishop Edward d. Kelly appointed Father Casimir Szyper as first pastor. The ensuing years brought several priests to guide the parish community and as it grew, so did the desire and focus on a parish school.

To acquire the funds needed to make the school a reality, the parish held festivals, raffles and dinners for several years. The building boom for the parish really started when Msgr. Joseph Podhajski was pastor (1953-1970).

In 1958, a campaign was launched to raise the remaining funds needed to start construction of not only four classrooms and a multi-purpose room but also an attached convent which would house the Consolata Missionary Sisters from Italy. The Consolata Sisters started the first day of school in September, 1959.

The 1980s brought more parish growth and the need for a larger church and more school classrooms. The decision to demolish the old church was based on a few major problems: the fire marshall shut down the choir loft, the foundation was crumbling and rocks were falling out of the walls, jacks were needed to support the floor joists in order to hold the church up, the church walls were bowing out because there was no buttressing, and half -inch steel cable was placed between the inside walls to keep them from falling outward.

With Father John Porter as pastor, a fund drive was initiated and groundbreaking for the new church took place on November 27, 1986. When the wrecking ball demolished the old church structure, a tumbling steeple marked the end of an era. to help parishioners accept the loss of the old church and embrace worshiping in the new, Rev. Porter had the foresight to request a parish mission. It helped many parishioners deal with feelings of having to leave this “home” and go to an unfamiliar place to worship. On October 30, 1987, the last Mass was celebrated in the picturesque country church. Rev. Porter removed the Blessed Sacrament at the end of Mass. On October 31, 1987, the parish family gathered in the lower level of the new church building for the first Mass. The next step in history was celebrating Mass for the first time in the church proper on December 12, 1987.

A new era began as the new church was dedicated on February 2, 1988, by Bishop Joseph M. Breitenbeck. With Father James Bozung as pastor, the new church became home to members from 790 households.

Assumption has only seen expansion and growth since. With additions of a Family Life Center which was dedicated on Sunday, May 23, 2004 and additions and upgrades to the Assumption School, our parish continues to grow and welcome new families.

In 2024, our parish is home to over 1,200 families. And we look forward to continually grow and spread the Word of God.